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Emir of Qatar Visits Medical Center

Condemns Terrorism, Donates One Million Dollars

NEW YORK (Oct 1, 2001)

Reaffirming a unique example of international cooperation between an American medical school and a Middle Eastern country, His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar visited New York Weill Cornell Medical Center tonight and extended condolences for the World Trade Center tragedy and condemned terrorism. The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, also made a donation of one million dollars to the Medical Center's burn unit, where the most severely injured patients from the trade center disaster are being cared for.

"I find it very difficult to address you here without referring to the matter that is on everyone’s mind, surely the tragedy that befell New York and Washington, D.C.," the Emir said in Arabic, translated into English by an interpreter. "I would like to extend to all of you my personal condolences and those of the people of the State of Qatar on the tragic event and the immense losses as a result. As you know, we are against all forms of terrorism."

His Highness reaffirmed the plan announced earlier this year by which Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College will establish the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, a branch of the New York institution, created by that institution and meeting all the same standards. "This education will be provided in a democratic manner to students who will be chosen on the basis of open competition without any discrimination," the Emir said.

He continued, "Our cooperation with American universities will not end here, but we are looking forward to, and planning for, obtaining similar assistance from other distinguished American universities for the purpose of creating various institutions in different fields of knowledge."

The Emir was introduced by Hunter Rawlings, President of Cornell University. In the party welcoming him and guiding him through New York Weill Cornell Medical Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital were Sanford Weill, Chairman of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College; Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., Dean of the Medical College; and Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The Emir concluded his remarks by announcing his gift of one million dollars to the Medical Center's burn unit, "which played a crucial role during the last tragic events." He was taken on a tour of the burn unit, the largest and most advanced burn center in the country. The Emir was shown a hydrotherapy room, where patients are cleansed of burned skin, and he visited with a recovering patient.

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